An annotated version:
Since I bought our club in February 2015 I have always made every decision in the best interests of Sheffield Wednesday. Sometimes those decisions have not been popular, which I understand, but the intention was and is always the same – for the good of Wednesday. The decision I am making now with this statement is also not easy but something I need to do.
[Decision to do what? Tell us there are more P&S pain ahead and another Club 1867 debacle will be launched as the way out of it?]
I have always tried to do my best, which I will continue to do for every day, week and year I remain chairman. [That’s the least we expect]
Sometimes, given the restraints that Championship clubs must work within, every effort is not enough. The embargo we were under filled me with sadness, it still does, I never wanted this as Wednesday owner and I apologise to our supporters. [Apology acknowledged, please don’t do it again]
Many people have suggested that I invested the amount of money I did – and continue to do – in order to achieve promotion to the Premier League. But this is not correct. I invested these sums to stay in the Championship, to ensure we would have the best chance of avoiding relegation. If promotion came, then great, but building from the bottom gave us the best opportunity of getting to the top.
[Er, hang on a minute sunshine. This wasn’t just ‘many people’, was it? In your own words:
March 2nd 2015:
"We want to be back for our anniversary."
"We will do whatever is appropriate to invest in the club to get them to the Premier League.”
July 17th 2015:
"I will lead that journey as your chairman but I need as much help as possible along the way.”.…“Furthermore, I can assure every single supporter that I will give everything it takes where possible to take Sheffield Wednesday back into the Premier League and all I can ask for as a maximum is your support in return."
Jan 17th 2019, on JL:
'He needs to finish the job to bring us to the Premier League. As soon as he can'
The list could go on. Sounds a lot like investing for promotion to me. To pretend the aim was to stay in the league and avoid relegation is just downright dishonest. ]
The Championship is incredibly competitive and gets stronger and stronger each year with the parachute money from the Premier League clubs coming into this division. Owners who have not
spent big sums before are now doing so just to remain competitive and first of all, stay in this division and we must challenge with them and others in the division.
At fans’ forums and Steering Group meetings, I have warned of the problems we will face with the Profitability and Sustainability regulations if we did not get promoted [which you haven’t invested for]. The same is true as I write today. Unless we achieve promotion this season [which we obviously won’t], we will again experience problems. I said it then and I say it now because I do not wish for bad surprises for our supporters. I wish to say it how it is and that way it is clear on both sides.
To make our situation 100% clear, we are not under any kind of embargo right now. However, if our problems cannot be solved by March when we submit our accounts to the EFL, another soft embargo is inevitable. This will become a full embargo if again the problems cannot be solved at the end of the financial year. I never ask for anything more than the best support possible [true, you can’t get more than the best possible] from our loyal fans and with the Profit and Sustainability regulations, I repeat I cannot solve the problems we have as a club alone. We have to solve these issues together as these problems are not going to disappear. The solution [which was?] we worked so hard to achieve this year will not matter next year, when the same problems will arise if when we do not get promoted.
Normally you cannot spend like this every year, probably just two years maximum given the regulations in place. But our spending extended to three years [very poor management then] and if you do not break P&S in that time, it is inevitable in the future, so I believe other clubs will find themselves in a similar situation this year and next and in the years ahead. It was very hard to accept any kind of embargo because when I arrived here I came to do better, make things better for everyone. Many fans have told me they are scared that if I leave Wednesday, which would break my heart [you are the one who said you were going to sell up in a strop after the last forum], our club will be worse than before but to those fears, I say do not worry. Whatever I decide now or in the future, Sheffield Wednesday will be in a stronger position than before my time, that is my word.
I have never thought about worth or value to myself or my family since I am here, I have never had one penny from Wednesday. I have always put our fans first and never thought about business because that would conflict with the ambitions and emotions everyone connected to our club has. Throughout my life, I have never done business before like this. Normally, a business will think of profit first but if we want to stay in this division and also have a chance of promotion, this is impossible and I understand that.
Some people think I want promotion to make a profit but the investment required to stay in the Premier League makes that impossible and it was never my intention anyway. It would probably take four or five years in the Premier League to break even and then more before anyone could even think about profit. So as an owner, until many years down the line, I lose either way. [So what was/is your business plan?]
But I do not have a problem with that. I knew this would be the case when I bought our club.
[I don’t buy that. Who can sustain losses running onto the hundreds of millions out of their own pocket without any thought of a return? Those of us with an interest have scoured the Thai Company Register for evidence of other companies owned by DC (other than a small shareholding in TUG and subsidiaries) that would generate the massive profits required. Perhaps you’d like to share with the Owls Family exactly how you make your money?]
I could have made a profit in the Championship already if I really wanted to by not buying the players or buying players and selling them for much more [only if you have a good recruitment team and a policy of astute player trading. That is part of almost every club’s commercial strategy, one that you have replaced by one of stockpiling sub-standard, injury prone players]. But I never wanted to do that. I wanted the best for our fans and our club because I have commitment and responsibility as the chairman and owner. If I thought that way, it would be much easier to manage Wednesday. Some have said why not spend smaller amounts of money and still aim for promotion but football has changed a lot in recent years and how many clubs will realistically achieve that target? There will be some examples as this is football but very few. That level of investment went into Wednesday 15 years and more before my time without success when it was not so hard as it is today. So with the problems we faced, I believe many people thought they were not true as there are too many experts on Sheffield Wednesday who are really no experts at all.
[Don’t think that’s true at all. Wednesday fans are under no illusions about the low base from which we start or the difficulties of charting a course to the Prem under P&S constraints. You were the one with the short-term promotion plan that didn’t work out. You were the one that rolled the dice with Jordan Rhodes and lost. Look to your own so-called expert advisers that you have been too stubborn to change, rather than make snide digs at the fans]
I have said for a long time that I cannot do this by myself but if I could, I would. Money is not the issue here, it is all about revenue, that is the difference. I have done everything I can in my power. This is why I launched Club 1867 last time and this is why I will launch a new version of Club 1867 again, with pricing and structures to enable as many fans as possible to help avoid the problems we could face again. No one fully understands how hard it has been for me to solve the problems last time, something I never wish to experience alone ever again. [Then why not get a proper governance structure in place, with a Board consisting of people who understand the industry?]
If someone asks me to not spend and do like in the past, I cannot accept that because then there is a risk of relegation and no chance at all of promotion. That is not the ambition I have for Sheffield Wednesday. It is not the ambition of our fans. But I have the responsibility. I want to know how many people could manage this club with responsibility because it so easy to do it without. I believe that if anyone else managed our club, they would think about profit.
[How many Championship clubs make a profit?]
I have learned a lot about football in the time I have been here. Some people right now think the worst of me but I know that had we been promoted in the first two years when we reached the play-offs I would have been the hero, the coach would have been the hero, recruitment and other negative things would never have been brought into question. I would like to say once more that I have used the same recruitment team since I started [I wouldn’t boast about that if I were you. Anybody with a grain of sense would be looking to change things], other than the change of the coaches, of course. If anyone suggests someone who has now left was the one responsible for recruitment I can categorically say that is not true or they would still be here.
[Bit of a straw man that. Has anybody suggested that? I suppose we’ve all wondered, not unreasonably, what happened to Roeder and the committee
Club Statement 14 June 2016:
“Sheffield Wednesday Director of International Recruitment Phubate Piempongsant has left Hillsborough.”
So if Pete, as Director of International Recruitment, wasn't responsible recruitment what exactly was he on the payroll for?
6 November 2017
“We have an extensive scouting network that spans the world of football and advisers that make up our transfer committee, which has evolved over the last two years as I said it would.”
“I have used the same recruitment team since I started”
Not much ‘evolution’ then after all. Who is this recruitment 'team'? How many sit on the recruitment committee? Why won’t you name them? Not that I’d want to put my name to what must be one of the worst squad building exercises ever, leaving glaring weaknesses unaddressed for years that even a casual observer can see need sorting. First and foremost weaknesses at centre back and full back positions, culminating in us becoming the leakiest defense in the league.]
Since I am here I have wanted trust. [Works both ways. If you feed us this sort of maudlin, contradictory, inaccurate tripe and expect us to swallow it how can you expect trust in return?] and I want our fans to show it is not just my money they want me to spend. Now is the time for everyone to come together and show trust and not just give the word. We can make our club the very best. I have never asked anyone who cannot afford to buy anything for even one penny. To those who invested in Club 1867, I say thank you for supporting me without thinking of worth. I can also think of worth myself but I do not wish to do that, I want to finish the job I started but we have a problem that we can only solve together. If our fans really trust me, we will go together for the next part of the 1867 campaign and I truly hope we will be a great team.
[Because the first part went brilliantly, didn’t it? How much did part 1 raise? How much is part 2 expected to raise and what effect will it have on our P&S position?]